Browsing articles from "April, 2012"
Apr 30, 2012
Julia

Axolotl Salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum)

Did you know?

That a derivation of the name “axolotl” refers to the Aztec god Xolotl, the god of games that could become an axolotl to escape his enemies?

The Axolotl Salamander is a neotenic, with indistinct dark spots. The head-body length is about 15 cm, and the tail is about 14 cm. The head profile rises more or less evenly and the body is robust. One fold of the relatively low fin rises at the rear to the height of attachment of the arm. It has a laterally compressed tail, which is the height of the body (including the dorsal and ventral). The webbing between the fingers is not distinguishable. The color is dark brown to black top, bottom and sides are clearer and more contrasting dark staining indistinct. In captive populations, the forms have been bred albino black and white.

Apr 29, 2012
Julia

Rainbow Parrot (Trichoglossus haematodus)

Did you know?

That these colorful parrots often frequent feeders coastal homes, railings balconies or windows with bread dipped in honey. And you can even scream and bite people when it comes to getting food?

The Rainbow Parrot has a total length of about 26 cm from the tip of the peak at the tip of the tail. The sexes are similar in plumage, but the female is smaller and has a shorter bill. The plumage in general is very colorful, with green, blue, black, red and yellow, but there is much variation between the different sub-species (20 subspecies). The legs are gray. They have a red beak and iris. Immature birds have duller plumage than adults, a black-brown beak and iris brown. 

Apr 28, 2012
Julia

Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

Did you know?

That the beak of the Hyacinth Macaw is dry, slightly scaly and has an internal bone? This is an excellent tool for breaking and eating nuts and hard-shelled seeds.

The Hyacinth Macaw is the largest species of parrot, reaching a total length of 100 cm. Its plumage is entirely blue-cobalt. The ring peri-ophthalmic and band around the lower jaw are yellow. The bill is very large, broad and black, but no dental type crests as in other species of macaws. This is reflected in the Anodorhynchus scientific name meaning “toothless beak”. The legs are gray-black and the iris is black. The breeding season is from August to December. A clutch typically consists of two eggs, which are incubated for about 28 days. The chicks fledge after three months and depend on their parents for food until six months old. The food consists of seeds, nuts, especially palm trees, palm leaves and fruit. Like other macaws, the Hyacinth uses clay licks.

Apr 27, 2012
Julia

Country Cricket (Gryllus campestris)

 

 

Did you know?

That the fable “The Ant and the Cricket” was written by the Greek poet Aesop over 2,500 years ago? In the fable, the cricket is representing lazy, careless people who indulge in foolish hobbies, and therefore lost.

The Country Cricket (Gryllus campestris) is a very popular and well known bug in the fable “The Ant and the Cricket” but almost never seen by the inhabitants of the modern city. Body size has a range from 19 to 23 mm in males and from 17 to 22 mm in females. They have a black body and wings that resemble an intricate wrought iron work. The color of the wings is dark black / brown with a yellow base on which you can see black veins. A modified area of ​​veins on the wings of the male, known as the “harp”, allows them to produce a “song” used to attract the female. The Country Crickets are not flying. They live in short grasslands, warm, with between 10 and 50% of bare soil. Males dig a burrow at the base of a clump of grass with a bare platform at the entrance from which they attract females with their “song”. Females locate singing males crawling along the ground to them. After mating, either within or outside the burrow, the female lays her eggs on the bare soil areas that have a lot of sunlight. The young nymphs hatch in July and August, and grow rapidly. In early fall, dig a den of hibernation and the nymph overwinters there. They feed on different seeds, other plant material or insects (dead or alive). They can be even if they are very hungry cannibals.

Apr 26, 2012
Julia

King Vulture (Sarcoramphus potato)

Did you know?

That the actual King Vulture is one of the most powerful of all American vultures that can open carcasses with their mouths, compared to other vultures? So often, the eat first and the other vultures feed after their remains.

The King Vulture is colorful, medium sized bird with a length of 80 cm. Its wingspan is about 120 to 200 cm and it weighs at around 2.7-4.5 kg . The head and neck are bare. This helps to prevent bacteria get on the feathers of the head. After eating, the vulture is relaxed in the sun, ensuring that the heat kills bacteria. The iris is white and eyes are surrounded by red. The beak is orange. The wings are wide and has a short tail. The wings and the dorsal aspect of the tail are black. The underside of the wings and chest are white. 

The King Vultures are scavengers. They feed on carrion that could spread disease and are also able to use a food resource that few animals can exploit.

 

Apr 25, 2012
Julia

Fennec Fox (Vulpes zerda)

Did you know?

That the fennec fox is the smallest canid in the world?

The fennec fox is a very small animal with extremely large ears and a very pointed snout. The head-body length is 35-40 cm, 15-25 cm tail length, 20 cm tall at the shoulder and weighing 1-1.5 kg. The ears are 10-15 cm long, the eyes are large and black and has a very small black pad on the end of the snout is pointed. The fur is very soft and smooth, cream colored with whitish underparts. The legs are hairy. 

The fennec is nocturnal. To avoid the heat of the desert, they live in burrows during the day. At night, they go out to hunt rodents, such as spiny mice, hamsters or gerbils, insects, spiders, scorpions, snakes, lizards and birds. They also eat bird eggs, fruit and leaves.

Apr 24, 2012
Julia

Broad-Snouted Caiman (Caiman latirostris)

Did you know?

That the female Caiman latirostris have been observed by opening the nest during incubation and helping newborns in the water, where they are stored for indefinite period of one or both parents?

The Broad-Snouted Caiman has a short snout, nearly as long as wide at the level of the front corners of the eyes. They have a bony ridge between the front corners of the eyes and the base of the head. The color of the upper surface is brown in young animals with dark olive crossbars, head and sides of the lower jaw have dark spots. Old animals of this kind are almost blackish. The bottom surface is uniformly colored, without dark spots. It can grow to a length of 3 m, but usually measured about 2 m.  

Apr 23, 2012
Julia

Chinese White Dolphin (Sousa chinensis)

Did you know?

That along the coast of Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa, humpback dolphins are killed in shark nets, which is considered at an unsustainable rate? Set nets to protect swimmers and surfers kill marine mammals of more than 50 species.

The Chinese White Dolphin has a maximum length of 2.8 m and weighing about 285 kg. It has a sturdy body with a prominent forehead and a long thin snout. The color is very variable, but basically it’s gray. The ventral and lower jaw are often colored. Adults of western Indonesia have a hump in which there is a small triangular dorsal fin. Individuals originating in eastern Indonesia lack this crest.

 

Apr 22, 2012
Julia

Lemur Colianillado (Lemur catta)

Did you know?

That the young lemur colianillados are born with blue eyes, that will gradually change color as they mature?

Lemurs colianillados are easily recognizable by his thick gray hair, gray and white face with black rings around the eyes and a ringed tail. The head-body length is 50 cm and the tail is 50 cm long. The weight varies from 3.5 to 6 kg. There is a marked sexual dimorphism. Lemur colianillados are social animals that live in large groups with an average of 18 members. Like most species of lemurs, females are dominant over males. Mothers give birth once a year and twins are not uncommon. The offspring of females remain in their natal group, and males leave when they reach three to five years of age.

Apr 21, 2012
Julia

Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)

 

Did you know?

The Shoebill is a large stork-like bird. The Shoebill’s features are gray feathers with a large swollen like beak. It looks like it has a point that is as sharp hooked nail. An adult male is about 120 cm long, females are slightly smaller, but very similar. The plumage is gray to gray-blue on the head and ash gray in general, slightly glossy green on the back. The belly and tail feathers are nearly white. The legs are black. The Shoebill is very solitary bird who does not like the disturbance by humans. It lives in swamps and very extensive Miscarthidium Papyrus, where they hunt fish. The nest is built of reeds and papyrus falls floating or resting on a low island.

 

Apr 20, 2012
Julia

Mona Boa (Epicrates monensis)

Did you know?

That one of the reasons why the Mona Boa is threatened is due to the presence of the India’s Mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) in St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola and Jost Van Dyke? The deliberate release of exotic species inadvertently introduced rats and mice, and domestic and wild animals are some of the major factors that threaten island species.

The Mona Boa is one of the youngest members of the Epicrates genus, reaching a snout-vent length of 80 cm only. Body weight is of  120-200 g in females and 70-100 g in males. In adults, the body color is light brown with dark spots partially bordered by black. The ventral surface is greyish-brown, dotted with darker spots. The background color of the upper surface of juveniles is a very light yellow-brown with dark brown. Dorsal body design consists of two rows of spots which extend to the end of the tail. The spots vary in number from 51 to 57. 

The diet of the Mona Boa seems to consist mainly of lizards. However, they eat small mammals and nestling birds opportunistically. Like all tree boas, the Epicrates monensis is viviparous. Mating takes place between February and May, with delivery in late August to October. The gestation period is about 130 days. The young grow rapidly and can reach sexual maturity at two years. 

Apr 19, 2012
Julia

Golden-Mantled Squirrel (Spermophilus lateralis)

Did you know?

That during autumn, the golden-mantled squirrel has a layer of fat that helps them stay warm during the winter hibernation? It also carries food in its well-developed cheek to his lair to be stored and presumably eat in the spring when it wakes up.

The golden-mantled squirrel looks like a squirrel, but is larger and the lines of its face are missing. It has a streaked cream and black colored body, but has no scratches on the head and tail. The remaining skin is gray; its shoulders and face are coppery-red. The queue length is 6 to 12 cm and total length is 25 to 30 cm. It weighs 175-275 grams. 

The golden-mantled squirrels hibernates from October to May (date varies by latitude), but some individuals are awaken periodically to feed. The golden-mantled squirrel has a varied diet, consisting mainly of seeds, nuts and fruits, which are complemented by green vegetation and insects, as well as large amounts of underground fungi, which they locate by smelling and digging. 

The golden-mantled squirrel digs nests at 30 meters long. The openings are usually under or near a log, or tree roots or rock. After a gestation period of 26-33 days, the female gives birth in early summer with 4-6 young per year.

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